Letting go takes practice for some people. Even in a floatation tank, some people’s minds race at 90 mph. The concept of nothingness or pure focus is foreign. When it comes to relaxation, what works for one person may not work for another.
There are a few techniques floaters can try to eliminate the mind’s noisiness and enjoy the full experience of a floatation tank. Techniques include focused breathing, recognizing and redirecting focus away from negative thoughts, practicing mindfulness of the body, maintaining a loose smile to relax the facial muscles, and relaxing each muscle group progressively to ease bodily tension. Here’s a rundown of how you can incorporate some of these techniques for an optimal floatation experience:
Full, cleansing breaths can be practiced anywhere (while waiting to begin floatation therapy, for example), helping clear the stress away no matter where you are. Sit comfortably, back straight. Breath in through your nose into your abdomen and out through your mouth, making sure to exhale completely. Do this with as limited movement as possible in your chest.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
This exercise focuses on tightening and relaxing muscles systematically. Combine with deep breathing for additional effectiveness. Begin by tightening muscles in one foot, holding for a moment (two breaths is a good measure), then releasing. Repeat this process up your leg, then do the other leg. From there, move up your body, ending with the face.
This engages your mind with the now. Sit up straight and focus on your breathing. What does it feel like? Once this is done, spread your awareness out to sounds, sensations, and the thoughts connected to each. Don’t ignore any sensory input, rather dwell on it to determine if it’s good, bad, or indifferent. If you lose focus, center back on your breathing.
This focuses your mind on different parts of your body. Lie down, legs uncrossed, with your arms at your sides. Focus on your toes while taking deep breaths that you imagine reaching down to your foot. Do this for two minutes. Move up your leg, part by part, repeating on the other leg before moving up your body to end with your head. Follow this with a moment of stillness.
Rhythmic Movement and Mindful Exercise
Exercise that follows a rhythm or pattern, such as running, dancing, or swimming, helps focus and relax your mind. Stay in the moment and be aware of your body, the motions, and the feelings you experience. Don’t think about anything else.
Follow these steps to de-stress and reap the benefits of floatation. Make your next experience in Northwest Float Center’s floatation tank the best.